The Royal Thai Pavilion at Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a beautiful and unique golden structure donated to the University of Wisconsin-Madison by the Thai Government. It is one of only four such structures found outside of Thailand and the only one found on America’s mainland. The structure was designed by Thai artisans to be assembled without using any nails or screws.
The roof of the pavilion is made up of many ceramic tiles and community members wrote prayers and messages on the underside of the tiles. With the pavilion being constructed immediately following the tragic events of 9/11, there are many moving messages to be discovered. There are other connections to Thailand found in the pavement and area around the Royal Thai Pavilion, including a reddish line that points in the direction of Bangkok, an ornamental serpent pathway, and numerous sculptures. The garden has several tropical plants that add to the ambiance.